China Cangyuan Yunnan Organic Black Tea from Simpson & Vail. . . .

China Cangyuan Yunnan Organic Black Tea from Simpson & Vail…oh…how I adore, thee!

I’m not going to hide it! I’ll shout it from the rooftops, folks! I think this is a fantastic loose leaf wonder!

It’s been said time and time again that Yunnan teas are particularly delightful as breakfast or early afternoon teas. I would have to agree! When I first experienced this lovely cup it was bright and early in the morning and it surely slapped my butt and got me moving and ready to face my day!

This tea is described as an exquisite organic tea that is grown in Cangyuan county which is a remote location in western Yunnan. To give you a visual of this loose leaf is has long black, tippy leaves ‘interspersed with ample golden buds’ (S&V’s phrase – not mine – but I couldn’t think of a better way to put it). This lovely tea brews to an amber colored cup with the slight aroma of pipe tobacco and a smooth, creamy, slightly sweet full-bodied taste. That pipe tobacco aroma reminds me of my grandfather and brings back some of memorable quirks that I will NEVER forget!

This is more than a cup of tea for me. It’s flashes and flickers of my grandfather with his smirky grin, his joking around, his strut, his overall being. It’s funny what aromas trigger, isn’t it?

Thanks S&V for this trip down memory lane – and a terrific cup of tea – to boot!

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Simpson and Vail
Description

Yunnan, known as the birthplace of tea, is a province in southwestern China that borders Vietnam, Burma, and Laos. Yunnan translates literally to “south of the clouds”. Its diverse landscape offers everything from tropical rainforests to mountainous terrain and is home to a wide variety of plant species. The Yunnan region focuses heavily on agricultural production.

Yunnan teas are particularly delightful as breakfast or early afternoon teas.

This exquisite organic tea is grown in Cangyuan county, a remote location in western Yunnan. It is comprised of long black and tippy leaves interspersed with ample golden buds. It brews to an amber colored cup with the slight aroma of pipe tobacco and a smooth, creamy, slightly sweet full-bodied taste.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Thoughts on Himalayan Bliss Estate, Nepal, First Flush 2017 / Yatra Tea

Not to be confused with a Darjeeling.

Many of the same attributes found in a Darjeeling can also be found in this tea. (Starting to feel like Darjeeling should be a tea type like black, green, etc). Fresh in both smell and taste.

This interesting clonal tea is apparently surrounded by other Darjeeling estates and while this doesn’t automatically make it better for processing it as a Darjeeling it does help in developing the flavors.

Just like the mountainous regions of Taiwan make amazing oolongs.

Anyway, this tea is very refreshing. As it’s cooled I find myself enjoying it more. It doesn’t have quite a muscatel flavor like many Darjeelings do but it has that fresh aftertaste.

This tea is honestly hard to describe because it really doesn’t have any descriptors on the flavor wheel. Try it yourself, you’ll see what I mean.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Yatra Tea Company
Description:

2.5 gms (approx. 1 tsp) per 6 oz of filtered water, steep for 3-4 mins at 203 F/95 C.

Vary leaf quantity, brewing time, and temperature per individual preferences.

Champagne gold color, with a sweet, fragrant aroma, and clean, refreshing taste.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Ruby 18 from American Gongfu. . .

This is one of those teas, like Darjeeling and Big Red Robe, that almost need their own classification.

They are simply marked as a certain type due to how they are processed but their elegant flavors deserve something more.

The best flavors, in my opinion come out when it is brewed at a lower temperature. Luke warm is the best. Sweet sensations of spices like clove and earthiness like wet wood.

The wet leaves have an amazing sweet aroma.

Some would say camphor and I would agree.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  American Gongfu
Description

This instant crowd favorite has an interesting pedigree.  Ruby #18  – also know as Red Jade – is the name of a cultivar developed in Taiwan by pairing a wildTaiwanese tea tree Camellia formosensis with a Burmese Assam (C. sinensisvar. assamica.).  The best crafted Ruby 18 leaf usually comes from Nantou’s Sun Moon Lake region.

Brewed lightly or at lower temperature, the tea exhibits an aromatic sweetness with hints of gingerbread and other spice flavors.  Brewed deeply or at high heat, yields a strong spicy tea, with notes of camphor, allspice, and deep woodiness.

A little goes a long way with this leaf, making it economical as well as delicious. We recommend a lighter brew if you’re new to this tea.

Cold brewing this tea produces an excellent, complex brew that is irresistible.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Yunnan Imperial / Tea and Tins . . . . .

Generally when someone says Yunnan I think Pu er.

So before I even looked at the leaf I figured that’s what this tea was. Even now while I write this and look at the leaves it looks like it could be. Tightly rolled leaves in various shades of brown.

When brewed the wet leaves have a musty, wet earth smell. It’s a relaxing smell in some ways.

Dark, clear amber liquor. An earthy brew with notes of cedar and wet forest floor.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Tea and Tins
Description

The principal growing regions in Yunnan are located in altitudes of 4,000 to 6,500 feet. At annual average temperatures between 53 F and 73 F, high-grade, black and green qualities are produced.

The very large portion of large, golden leaf tips gives the full sweet-spicy taste and malty, soft aftertaste to the Yunnan Imperial. The large leaf is dark, matt green and contains many bronze-colored tips, the infusion is heavy and dark

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Heritage Hard Water Tea from The Kent & Sussex Tea & Coffee Co.. . .

Here is an idea that was quite unique to me, though having looked into I see there are other companies doing this as well! This company is blending tea with the water of a specific area in mind, but I suppose that anyone who uses tap water for tea in a hard water area would benefit from buying a special blend like this, especially in an office where it would hard to keep spring water around.

First, this is true British builder’s tea. It is a blend of teas from Assam, India, Kenya, and Rwanda. It is listed as broken orange pekoe and was very fine when I measured it into my strainer. I was worried that a lot of tea dust was going to pass right through the mesh and leave me with bitter tea, but when I lifted the basket to check for dust in the pot, there was none. Hooray!

Since it was so fine, I only steeped for two minutes even though it says you can go as long as three. At two minutes, this is plenty strong enough for me. In fact, it was so dark it was scary! It almost looked thick when I poured it, so I warned my guests that it might be a tad strong. When they sipped, they said they liked it and had no problem with it. Nice!

I did not have to add milk, but it could very easily have handled it. I did not use sugar, but again, if that is how you take your breakfast tea you could easily enjoy it with sugar.

If you live in a hard water area and find that you water is keeping your tea from tasting “up to snuff”, and you are a fan of good, old-fashioned British builder’s tea, here is one for you to try. Tingle to the tongue, boot to the derriere, and out the door with you! Face the day!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  The Kent & Sussex Tea & Coffee Co.
Description

This blend of strong black teas has been mixed for your local tap water. Living in hard water areas can affect the taste of tea and the water, ensuring that you get a proper cup of tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!